Whether for its food, its rich historical and cultural mix, it's affordability or its exciting people, Sicily should be on everyone's travel list.
First off, for Americans looking to have an awesome European vacation that doesn't break their bank, Sicily may well be the best option on the continent. It's quite safe and stable, with perfectly functional airports and good infrastructure, and its food and lodging is quite affordable.
In Palermo, the capital, for example, one can stay at a 4-star hotel in the city center for around $200 per night. Smaller and more affordable options that are also very nice and in the city center, like the one I stayed in, are closer to $100 euros per night, and usually include a nice breakfast.
When you go out in the more provincial areas, it's even more affordable: the nicest properties in the Siracusa area were all available for about $150 per night and a meal at a nice restaurant runs about $15-20 per person, with wine.
Of course, now is also the perfect time to go because the dollar-to-euro exchange has never been better for Americans.
Beyond, the affordability vis a vis places like Paris or London, or even Rome, Sicily also offers something for everyone. For history buffs, not only are there some of the world's most amazing sites, but unlike many places where there is a "specialty," one can choose their area and culture of interest.
Those interested in ancient Greek history should make sure to see Agrigento and Segesta, with Siracusa being another interesting stop. For Medieval history, art, and churches, Palermo and Monreale have some of the most beautiful examples in the world, especially the Cathedral in Monreale. For ancient Roman history buffs, the Villa Romana has the largest, and best kept, set of Imperial Roman mosaics anywhere in the world.
It's also quite easy to get around, with buses for under $10 euros each way between cities catering to students, and easy for families, because of the ease of getting around if you have a car. Pretty much everything on the island is less than 2 hours from anything else (unless you are crisscrossing in which case you will always have a few mandatory stops on the route).
Because of its size and variety, Sicily is both a place where you could come back again and again for years and years and still have more to discover, its various little towns being a bit like New York City neighborhoods in that regard, yet also a place where you can come for 5 days, cover a lot of ground, and really felt like you have seen and experienced the island in a meaningful way.
So give Sicily a try, you may find it becomes one of your favorite places.